Best of Irish Poetry 2009
Best of Irish Poetry 2010

Editor: Matthew Sweeney



Songs of Earth and Light

Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan



Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition




Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes





Munster Literature Centre

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Cork City Council



Foras na Gaeilge



Cork County Council







james hughesJames Hughes lived in Ireland as a boy.  His poems and short stories have won a number of awards. He’s the winner of the 2013 John Shaw Neilson Poetry Prize. His articles sometimes appear in newspapers such as the Melbourne Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. He has written on hiking in South Korea, great book-cover illustrations, Holocaust survivors living in Melbourne, the use of silence in films, the use of others’ unwanted books, the forgotten genius of Joni Mitchell, the primitive-cool of cricket legend Dennis Lillie, DH Lawrence, German artist Otto Dix and a day’s hitch-hiking in Japan. His short stories and poems mellow, endlessly, in his hard-drive, providing uncountable hours of ritualistic tinkering.  He is 42.





Shortlisted in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition



The Breath in Things


At the top of our street, a scorched

Horse picked at scarce grass, behind barbed wire.                                                                


Shifting his languor closer, buttocks pears conjoined in sway. 


Stalling before acknowledging an

Apple half in my outstretched palm.


Moist, whiskery kiss of breath.

Gentle, hula-hoop sway of jaws.










In clearest Connemara emerald, in drop-away shore,

Suspended between ceiling and floor,

A lantern shark.



Perfectly weighted; frozen in brightness;

Brilliantly clandestine for all our eyes.



A school of minnow twitched past its luminosity.

Shivery breath of wind ruffled the glassy surface.



My brother tossed a stick.


My sister hurled a hunk of seaweed.





Its vivid silence became difficult to walk away from.











A photograph in

the Irish Times, May 13, 1962.


Girl of thirteen, slender, touching the plunging neck

Of the Spring Stakes favourite.


The long brown head turned marginally from its trainer,

Favouring her.


Her own eyes

Pools of respect

Cast down

As though shying from being photographed

With a thing of such beauty.









An old horse grazed mournfully

Behind a rusted fence at the top of our street

When I was ten.


My old man told me if you breathed into her nostril

She'd remember you.


I sliced a bruised green apple on the bench;

Ran into the grey wind.



©2014 James Hughes




Author Links


'When silence is golden, it works, just more quietly': article by James Hughes in the Age

'Leading from the front': article by Hughes in the Age









©2009 Southword Editions
Munster Literature Centre

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